I’m looking at redesigning (may not be the right term) my house. The downstairs was extended prior to me buying it but it’s left me with a narrowish 22ft long living room, which backs on to the kitchen dining area and second living room. Although the house is lovely, I’ve never been able to decide what to do with the 22ft living room. It has 3 doors, a fireplace and a built in TV/Bookshelf area which makes it very bitty and in areas, quite narrow.

I didn’t know where to start to get advice, I was thinking an architect as I’m possibly considering a false wall or maybe looking at redesigning the entire ground floor to make it a bit more functional but have no idea where to start.

Any ideas or advice would be great.

  • Lindsey Davis

    Hi Cheryl,

    Try to find some architects or architectural designers in your area. Draw up a list and do a bit of research into their work to see evidence of past jobs. If you can visit the jobs in person, that’s even better.

    If they will do free quotes and initial designs, that is a good way to test the water and get a few ideas. See what they all come up with and then choose the one who understands your needs best.

    A total ground floor remodel will be the most expensive option, but may be the best solution to a very long narrow room. I would however say this may be preferable to putting in false walls which could make the space feel smaller and darker.


  • Adam


    I will second Lindsey’s answer. I would stress that unless your ideas are quite radical or there is a need for a strong design influence in your remodel then you should start at the cheaper end of the architectural spectrum with the smaller local home designers or architectural technicians. They are conversant with home design, redesign and remodelling without charging the big bucks that full architects sometimes can.

    That isn’t to say that you should discount an architect. I’m sure that there are many that could bring fantastic ideas to the table for you but it will be costly. It isn’t a criticism. More an observation.

    Do you have any friends or neighbours that have got homes that you admire or elements that you would like to incorporate into your own home? It is usually of benefit to the professionals that you approach if you are able to articulate some ideas for them to draft proposals around. That is unless you fancy letting someone’s imagination run wild; an exciting prospect!

    Good luck with your project.

  • Fred Davidson

    I absolutely agree with the point about researching into local firms. Nearly all have websites with examples of their work. Sometimes they give an outline of cost and process too. I might expect an architect/designer to provide a free initial consultation on site (including outline information on their costs and likely timeframe) but I wouldn’t expect much in the way of free ‘inital designs’.

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